Patrick Reakes

Military Service

United States Navy / Navy Reserve Veteran | 1978-1984

Current Role

University of Florida Senior Associate Dean, Scholarly Resources and Services


Chicago, Illinois

What was your job in the military?

Sonar Technician/ Operator and Torpedoman (Anti-submarine warfare)

What does it mean to be a Veteran at UF?

Veterans share a common experience that very few people in academia fully understand.

What is something that not many people know about you?

I am a plant lover and have well over 100 types of plants and trees in my yard.

How does your military experience affect your life today?

Once you've served I think you always have a different frame of reference for things that happen in life, and a broader view of the world.

BEST food you ate in the military?

I spent a lot of time at sea on a destroyer and food was considered very important for morale. Probably the best food was a full Thanksgiving dinner we had while deployed. We also occasionally had very good steak dinners on special holidays, etc.

WORST food you ate in the military?

Powdered eggs after a long time at sea.

Is there anything you want the UF campus and community to know about Veterans?

I was only a Cold War veteran, but for those that served in real combat - be thankful for what they did and understand the impact that experience has on their lives.